Sunday morning I ran the Downtown Jingle 5K. It was the first time I had ever done this race, and the first time I have run in festive running gear. There’s a first time for everything right? I had gone to Target to find some Christmas knee socks (see picture) and a red long-sleeve technical shirt. I opted not to wear the jingle bells they handed out with your number because I think they would drive me absolutely nuts when running!
This race was sort of an experiment in a number of different ways. Since my mileage has been down a bit and I haven’t been doing as much speedwork lately (due to the shin injury), I wasn’t sure what to expect. I also ran this race without my Garmin FR60, so I really had no idea what my pacing was. I tried not to have high expectations about a PR. I think this ended up working in my favor.
At the start, I met up with Samantha and her family to wait for the start. It was so much fun meeting another running blogger “in person.” She was running with her entire family, which I thought was very cool. Being able to chat and hang out helped me stay relaxed while waiting to head to the start line. When we went out to line up, I opted for the 7 minute pace group and jogged in place to stay warm.
I went out pretty fast on the first mile – split was 6:45, so I had to settle in. Mile 2 went by pretty fast. I just tried to hold my pace and start picking some people off. When I saw the mile 2 split I think it was around 17:04, so I knew there was a chance that I could PR. I gritted my teeth and picked up the pace a bit for the last mile. I hung on through the last minute and when I saw the finish clock still in the 21s, I decided to kick it and grab my PR.
I crossed the line in 21:54.6– a PR by 23 seconds! It was nice to go out with a bang, since the Downtown Jingle 5K is the last race on the horizon for the next two months. Half marathon training begins the day after Christmas for the Shamrock Half in March. I am giving some PR credit to the increased pool running I have been doing. Apparently pool running can help make you faster because it increases your stride length. I am going to keep at it to give my joints a break a couple of times a week and also to see if I can keep chasing some more PRs!
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